Technology, Structure, and Culture in Disaster Management: Coping with Uncertainty

August 1997 (VOL. 15, NO. 2)

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This paper will concentrate on three aspects of disasters which are often interwoven, but that require careful refinement and elaboration to understand how they interact in disaster situations. These are the technological, structural, and cultural dimensions of disaster events. These three dimensions will be superimposed and illustrated with respect to technical, sociopolitical, and scientific issues which have been identified as important components of disaster management. It is argued that the notion of uncertaintv, when present in the management context, is related to the dimensions of technology, structure, and culture. The framework developed draws upon and is used to conceptuallv interconnect studies of Canadian disasters, as well as disaster events from other parts of the world.